As I’ve noted before, we cannot afford to back down an inch in the culture wars lest the fanatics take over, brutally squashing all dissent — and as is always the case with fanatics, all the joy in life. One of the most ferocious battles in this war involves relationships between men and women (or, maybe more accurately, boys and girls) at the university level. Robert Stacy McCain accurately notes the malevolent misanthropy driving these battles:
I’m sorry for the long silence, but to quote Granny Clampett, “I was just plumb tuckered out.” Between escalating work demands and the usual family demands, I haven’t had either spare energy or spare time. It was only two days ago that I stopped being in denial and accepted that, for the time being at least, I have a 3/4 time legal job that requires a heightened level of commitment and organization. (Incidentally, I’ve found that, for managing large projects, Microsoft’s One Note, when combined with a good calendaring program, is very helpful.) I still intend to blog, but I just need to buff up my time management skills a bit.
And that’s it for the excuses. On to the post itself:
It’s not such a wonderful life
Victor Davis Hanson has scored another home run with his post examining at Obama’s new world order as another Pottersville:
How Leftists think
One of the my Leftist Facebook friends was outraged that the Republican-controlled House repealed a law requiring meat to have a country-of-origin label. He and his friends instantly started talking about evil Republicans trying to poison Americans. They were taken aback when I pointed out that the article makes clear that (a) the existing law was about to be gutted anyway by the World Trade Organization; (b) that the problem involved the WTO’s claim that the existing law was unfair to Mexico and Canada; and (c) that this wasn’t a repeal but was simply a committee vote, with all but six Democrats on board.
What really confused my Facebook friend, though, was when I suggested that the market could handle this one without the government. Thus, I said, meat suppliers that are targeting people who care about meat’s origin will label their product voluntarily as part of their effort to sell the product. This whole voluntary thing, especially when tied with the wisdom of the marketplace thing, just didn’t compute.
Bruce Jenner may not end up as happy as he hopes
Although Bruce Jenner has opted to leave his mini Bruce alone, he’s certainly had a boob job and who knows what else (lower rib removal?) to make himself look more feminine. I really couldn’t care less what Bruce does (that is, I’m neither for or against his journey), but I do wonder how happy he’ll actually be.
The party of “Government, get out of my bedroom!” invades New York bedrooms
When it comes to teenage sex and abortion, or just plain old sex and abortion, the Left’s rallying cry for decades has been clear: “Government, get out of the bedroom.” That’s why I find it incredibly amusing that Blue State New York is planning to join Blue State California and invade the bedroom of every college student under its aegis:
The bill requires “affirmative consent” at each step of the way when two students have sexual contact. Amazingly, that means punishing students who fail to ask “May I unbutton your blouse?” and “May I kiss you?” and wait for the answer. On May 20, Cuomo said there has to be “clear, unambiguous and voluntary agreement” before any “specific sexual activity.”
There are, of course, a couple of problems with the bill. First, absent a signed writing or disinterested witnesses, it’s still going to be a “he said, she said” kind of thing, with a malevolent female perfectly capable of claiming that no words were used or that she said “no.” Second, and worse, it will make official the presumption that boys are dangerous sexual predators who must be contained.
It’s been one of those days: I took two family members to two different doctors’ appointments, went to a work meeting, went grocery shopping, and cooked dinner. It’s 8:30 at night where I am, and this is the first time today that I’m sitting down at the computer. I still have legal work to do tonight so this will be a very abbreviated post, in no small part because I haven’t had the chance to read a dang thing today. Still, for what it’s worth, here are a few things you might enjoy:
Bernie Sanders is a dodo
Bernie Sanders is a proud socialist (although his net worth is greater than Scott Walker’s, so perhaps he’s a proud socialist hypocrite, but anyway….). Bernie Sanders has announced that he wants to cut back on the number of antiperspirants and sneakers offered to American shoppers so that more children get fed. If you think that’s a non-sequitur, you’re correct. Only an economic illiterate would take — gosh, they’re not even close enough to be apples and oranges…. Let me try again: Only an economic illiterate would conflate bottled water and tires, and insist that if we use less of one, we’d have more of the other.
A lot of people thought it was kind of tacky for Barack Obama to honor Memorial Day on his Twitter feed by posting a picture of himself eating ice cream while surrounded by fawning reporters. Lena Dunham, however, has gone Obama one better. To honor Memorial Day, she posted a picture of herself in lingerie:
Me? I would have preferred a picture of Dunham eating ice cream, but that’s not where I want to take this discussion.
A friend and I were discussing whether the picture was attractive and we concluded that it’s not. We both agreed that part of why it’s not attractive is because we don’t like Dunham. Seeing endless acres of flesh on someone you think has a corrosive influence on your society is not an appealing sight. So we had to ask ourselves the next question: If we liked Dunham more, would we find her more pleasant to look upon as she flaunts her flesh?
My answer — no.
This answer doesn’t have anything to do with my being opposed to people who would be rejected by Cosmo Magazine or a Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. There are big women who manage to look radiantly attractive in lingerie photographs. They look happy in their own skins and their attractive sensuality communicates itself to the viewer. Even if a comfortably filled-out woman isn’t your idea of objective “beauty,” a woman who feels sexy still manages to look sexy. Dunham doesn’t.
What Dunham does is look defiantly depressed. Her face says, “You better like me, you sons and daughters of bitches, or you’re clearly guilty of a hate crime against women and, worse, against big women.” Dunham may be about sex (God knows, she certainly never stops talking about it or taking pictures of it), but she’s not about sexy.
Nothing illustrated that more to me than a sad “just use me” quotation Dunham made about the endless nude scenes on her critically-acclaimed (although not audience acclaimed) show Girls:
While Ellie Kemper said she had yet to film a sex scene, Dunham told the other comedians she’s not shy when it comes to being naked on set.
“I stopped wearing the nude patch after the first season of Girls,” Dunham said. “There’s not one guy who works on that show who hasn’t seen the inside of my vagina. This patch – you glue it over your vagina. It gets sweaty and always falls off. My male co-stars, at the end of the day, don’t care.”
I’m sure Dunham is right that her male co-stars don’t care about her vagina. But I’m equally sure that they don’t look at Dunham and see anything more than a woman begging to be used sexually — and by that I mean more than just being used for sex. She’s reduced her essence — the part of her that deserves love and respect — to a vagina.
For an older generation of feminist, the one swept away by the tide of hard Left harridans, feminism meant believing that men and women should get equal pay for equal work, and that job standards should be tied to the needs of the job, not to pandering to one sex’s abilities or trying to shut out the other sex’s opportunities. For the Dunham generation, feminism means “love me, love my vagina — and really, there’s nothing more of me that’s worth loving.”
Dunham, in other words, isn’t a feminist, she’s a sexual nihilist. Worse — and this is where I get into politics, as the nihilistic voice of her generation, she’s joined by countless other women who have reduced the corrupt, ineffective, potentially dangerous Hillary to nothing more than a vagina and who, having reduced Hillary to this biological absurdity, insist that, on this basis alone, Hillary is worthy of becoming President of the United States.
My suggestion is that Hillary’s next campaign poster should look like this. (Sorry about the abysmal quality of the “poster.” I don’t have anything like Photoshop on my computer and this is the best I can do.):
It ought to win Hillary at least a few votes from the Dunham generation.
My post title notwithstanding, I am well, I have been well, and I expect that I will continue to be well. It’s just that I’ve spent between five and fifteen hours every week for the last few weeks in doctors’ offices thanks to my mother and my kids, all of whom are well, but who needed a variety of maintenance appointments. I’m all doctored out. Politics, however, still interest me:
Obama’s ego is all that stands between Israel and destruction
Obama sat down for an interview with his go-to Jew, Jeffrey Goldberg. Goldberg worships at the Obama altar, but periodically manages to sound as if he cares about the welfare of Israel and the Jewish people. I used to be fooled. I’m not anymore.
In any event, James Taranto caught Obama in a fascinating narcissistic moment in that interview. First, here’s what Goldberg wrote:\
Do you remember the McMartin preschool case in the mid- to late-1980s, when the owners of a small, family-run preschool found themselves accused of satanic sexual debauchery with the children in their care? Although the McMartin case was the most widely publicized, and therefore the most memorable, case, there were similar cases popping up all over the United States.
Each case would begin with a mother reporting that her child had said something that indicated he or she was the victim of sexual abuse at the preschool. Investigators and child therapists would move in and, next thing you knew, scores of employees and owners were suddenly being accused of the most heinous crimes.
Significantly, these accusations didn’t even stop with ordinary sexual molestation. Instead, they invariably included additional bizarre behaviors such bestiality, animal sacrifice, and even human sacrifice. Looked at objectively, without the accompanying media-fed hysteria, the charges sounded every bit as ridiculous as the claims made almost three hundred years before in Salem, Massachusetts. Needless to say, as in Salem, a lot of lives were irrevocably destroyed before the hysteria finally ended.
You remember what happened when Christina Hoff Sommers went to Oberlin and Georgetown, don’t you? If you don’t, these pictures, all showing these schools’ special snowflakes, will refresh your recollection:
Now, a group purporting to be the Oberlin College choir has uploaded its response. It is brilliant:
I do like Vegas. I love its manic energy, crazed corporate imagination, over-the-top shows, brilliant colors, and flashing lights. And then, after three days, I’m desperate to get away from the noise and smoke and, often, the desperation floating above the casino floors. In other words, I had a great trip there and then was glad to come home again. This time, coming home also meant going through about 800 backed-up emails (a lot of people got heartfelt apologies from me for delaying so long before responding to them), and finding some awesome things to share with you.
A glowing French eye-view of American troops
When we think of the French, we tend to think of hyper-critical people who look down upon Americans. That stereotype might be true on the Île-de-France, but it turns out to be untrue in the theater of war, at least as to one French soldier who served with American troops (Echo Company) in Afghanistan. If this doesn’t make you want to stand up and salute, I truly don’t know what will:
Some of you may recall that, a couple of years ago, I did one of my periodic posts about romance novels, arguing that the real “porn” part of the novels is the relationship, not the sex. One of my readers, Judith Lown, wrote me to say that there are traditional romances still out there and, in fact, she had written one: A Sensible Lady: A Traditional Regency Romance.
When I went to Amazon to buy A Sensible Lady, I discovered that I had already bought it, read it, and thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s no insult to Lown that I didn’t quite remember it. I read around 250 books a year (all kinds of genres) and lose track of those I’ve already read. I enjoyed Lown’s other novel, A Match for Lady Constance, just as much.
Although I am a few years removed from having read Lown’s books, I know that what charmed me was the same thing that charms me about Georgette Heyer novels: the lead characters are people you wish you could meet, and the intellectual relationship between the protagonists is witty, fun, and understandable. In other words, Lown is a very good writer in the traditional Regency romance style: elegant, funny, and restrained.
Since I wrote the preceding Bookworm Beat, two things showed up on my computer that I wanted to address.
You’re not brave if there’s no risk
In 2006, as part of Project 2,996, I wrote about New York Fire Fighter Brian Ahearn. I spent a lot of time on the internet looking for the ghosts and traces of Lt. Ahearn, and ended up feeling as if I really knew the man who, despite a lovely and fulfilling life, bravely raced into a burning high rise hoping to rescue people from the destruction. Lt. Ahearn was never seen again. In my post about him, I thought a lot about his raw courage and it was this idea — this courage — that opened my post: